Sunday, 6 September 2009

The Joys of Cottaging

It is one of the truisms of cottage life, that anybody who owns, visits, or merely steps sole on the hallowed grounds is immediately put to work. There is cooking to be done, flowers to be planted, beer to be drunk and potato chips and chocolate to be consumed. The fascinating part of all of this activity, is that cottagers and visitors alike are more than happy to share in all of the chores and perks with equal verve and enthusiam. We eat-therefore we cook! We use the facilities-therefore we clean! (No 4-legged rodents are allowed to share space with with the 2-legged variety.) After many a weekend visiting "The Cottage", The Husband and I have become quite accustomed to the lifestyle, and have always been ready to pitch in wherever and whenever required. But, today was a new one for the ardent city girl. Today I watched and aided in the removal and winterization of a powerboat!

Knowing that this would be the final cottage visit of the season for us, and knowing that Twin Son and His Better Half would not be able to return until Thanksgiving, the removal of said vessel took on an added urgency this long weekend. Twin Son was all about winches, hitches, engines and trailers. The Husband politely nodded his ascent as if he had a raging clue what was being discussed. The testosterone was flowing at high levels. Just get any man talking about a trailer hitch and a power washer, and watch their face light up with excitement. The boat launch is at the opposite end of the lake from "The Cottage", so the plan was for The Better Half and myself to take one last summer spin in the boat, and have the guys hook up the trailer to jeep and meet is on the other side. It was all proceeding exactly according to Hoyle. We renaissance women had no trouble maneuvering the boat into position, and The Husband operated the winch like a seasoned pro! (I must admit that watching him in the pursuit of manly endeavours was quite the turn-on!) And the fun started!

It has been an extraordinarily wet summer around here and the ground is very soft-almost sand-like. The boat launch is little more that a divoted piece of beach on a wicked incline. Add to that mess, is the fact that Twin Son traded in his 6 cylinder, 4-wheel drive Jeep this past year, for a smaller 4 cylinder, front-wheel drive model. Needless to say we got good and stuck in the soft earth. No amount of gas, rubber, or digging was going to free the beast. Luckily for us citified idiots, some local idiots were making the most of the last long weekend of the summer. The nicest group of refugees from Woodstock you will ever meet. There wasn't a T-shirt or shoes on any of them, (maybe even the women-I failed to notice!) the beer was flowing quite liberally for 11:00 am in the morning, and the air had that sweet smoky smell I recall from my university days. These guys jumped to our added faster than flies to shit, and were even prepared to pull us out with their pick-up and some heavy duty chains. We were a sight! 6 shirtless hippies looking for a Hendrix concert, The Husband in rolled up denim so as not to dampen the cuffs, The Better Half with sand encrusted blond hair flying, and The Twin Son giving his poor suburban car all the gas it could take-finally pushed the sucker up over the ridge and onto the road-facing the wrong way! I of course was cheering them on the entire time. (I honestly couldn't help without being in the way. Sometimes one just has to know when to back off!)

It is also one of the adages of cottage life, that one looks out for one's neighbours. Without our friends, we would still be stuck in the mud and muck screaming pointlessly for HELP! Beer is on the way as a thank you kindly to our chivalrous, half-naked knights in white satin! Here's hoping that they don't laugh at our Yuppie Coronas!

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